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FYI — Before the Senate recessed, two legislative proposals were passed affecting substance abuse and housing programs that we wanted to bring to your attention. Very high level summaries are provided below and more detailed information will be provided in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you have any questions.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

On Friday, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) which has been viewed by many as a major step to address the national opioid epidemic. While the legislation does not include funding, many Members of Congress have pledged to provide resources to back up the bill through the appropriations process later this year.

Some highlights of the legislation (a more detailed summary is being prepared).

Specific to child welfare, the legislation would amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provisions regarding Plan of Safe Care. These changes will:

Other provisions in the legislation will

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 3083/H.R. 3700) was passed by Congress and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama. It was passed with unanimous consent from both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

The legislation makes changes to public housing programs and includes changes specific to the Family Unification Program (FUP), a federal program under which housing vouchers are provided to 1) families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of a child in foster care or the reason for a delay in permanency; and 2) youth who have aged out of foster care without adequate housing and are at risk of homelessness.

Changes in the legislation would: